Syrian Army Says Israel Attacked Targets Near Damascus


The IDF attacked targets in the Damascus area three times overnight between Monday and Tuesday using surface-to-surface missiles, the Syrian Army said in a statement Tuesday morning.

According to the statement, “the army’s air defense thwarted three Israeli missile attacks on military sites in Qutifah area in Damascus countryside.”

The statement said that Israel was attempting to support “terrorist organizations in Syria” and “to raise their morale after the painful blows they received in Harasta in eastern Ghouta in Damascus countryside and the sweeping victories the Syrian Arab Army is achieving in Idleb.”

The statement, carried by the SANA news agency,  also held “the Israeli entity full (sic) responsible for their repercussions.”

The pro-regime Al-Masdar website said that at approximately 2:40 a.m. local time, the Israeli military fired several rockets from Lebanese territory toward the Syrian Army in Qutifah. Al-Masdar quoted Syrian military sources as saying that one rocket was shot down by the Syrian Air Defense, while another landed near Syrian Army positions.

Al-Masdar claimed that the IDF then fired two surface-to-surface missiles at 4:00 a.m and four more at 4:15 a.m. The report said that one of the missiles was intercepted, while others struck Syrian Army positions inside Qutifah. Quoting Syrian military sources, Al Masdar claimed that the second and third salvos were fired from within Israeli territory.

The IDF has not commented on the reports, which come amid repeated statements by Israeli leaders expressing concern about developments in Syria and several reported strikes by Israel on targets in Syria in recent months: On December 5, Israeli jets were reported to have struck the Jamrya military research center, some five kilometers northwest of the capital. On November 1, Israeli jets were reported to have struck munitions factories near Homs.

Following reports that the Security Cabinet had met recently several times to discuss the Syria situation, National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Minister Yuval Steinitz, who is a member of the Security Cabinet said Monday: “It is no secret that we are worried by [the situation]. The prime minister has previously expressed his concern about Iran’s efforts to establish a [permanent] military presence in Syria, and under his leadership, we are taking action, on both the diplomatic and intelligence-defensive fronts in order to prevent Syria from becoming an Iranian military base. This process could take a few years, but it is a scenario we are determined to prevent.”

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